DIY Tennis Ball Machine

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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DIY Tennis Ball Machine
(Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pretend war games like “Capture the Flag” require shooting projectiles at the enemy while advancing on their position. A do-it-yourself (DIY) tennis ball machine launcher will enable you to fire tennis balls at the enemy in rapid succession. No chemical propellant or compressed air is needed as the tennis ball machine launcher will be powered by a rubber band. You will need a few supplies commonly found around the home and some items from a hardware store.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • 10-inch-diameter PVC pipe?10-inch-diameter PVC cap
  • Black spray paint can
  • 2-inch diameter rubber band
  • Duct tape
  • Tennis ball

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect the surface. Place the PVC pipe horizontally on the newspaper. Shake up the black spray paint can for 30 seconds. Spray the PVC pipe with black paint. Let the black paint dry for three hours.

  2. 2

    Rotate the PVC pipe 180 degrees to reveal the unpainted bottom. Shake up the black spray paint can for 30 seconds. Spray the unpainted part of the PVC pipe with black paint. Let the black paint dry for three hours.

  3. 3

    Place the PVC cap on the newspaper. Shake up the black spray paint can for 30 seconds. Spray the PVC cap with black paint. Let the black paint dry for three hours.

  4. 4

    Stand the PVC pipe on the newspaper. Place the PVC cap on the hole at the top of the PVC pipe.

  5. 5

    Place one end of the rubber band against the left top side of the PVC pipe. Tape the rubber band to the side of the PVC pipe with strips of duct tape. Stretch the rubber band over the PVC cap and across to the right top side of the PVC pipe. Tape the rubber band to the side of the PVC pipe with strips of duct tape.

  6. 6

    Tape the rubber band to the PVC cap with strips of duct tape.

  7. 7

    Go outside in your backyard. Hold the DIY tennis ball machine launcher by the back end in one hand. Aim the open end of the DIY tennis ball machine launcher up. Drop a tennis ball into the open end.

  8. 8

    Aim the DIY tennis ball machine launcher at a tree or rock. Grab hold of the PVC cap with your other hand. Pull back on the PVC cap until the rubber band is nearly fully extended. Release the PVC cap to fire the tennis ball out of the PVC pipe at the tree or rock.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also fire ping-pong balls from your DIY tennis ball machine.
  • Never fire a tennis ball or any projectile at a person who is not participating in a game with you while wearing protective eye gear.

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